The latest came Saturday night when he picked up the top honor at the Directors Guild of America Awards. The DGA Award puts him in the lead to pick up the best director statue at the upcoming Academy Awards.
In the last 20 years, there have been only three instances in which the winner of the DGA’s top prize did not also receive the Oscar for best directing. The Shape of Water itself is already a frontrunner going into the March 4 Oscars with 13 nominations this year, the most of any film. Del Toro not only directed, but co-wrote the screenplay and is an executive producer.
He has already received statuettes from the Golden Globes, the Producers Guild and Critics’ Choice along with a large number of accolades from other critics’ groups and industry organizations.
Greta Gerwig (“Lady Bird”), Martin McDonagh (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”), Christopher Nolan (“Dunkirk”) and Jordan Peele (“Get Out”).
The guild was lauded for the diversity of the group, an anomaly among the vast predominance of white male directors who historically earned the lion’s share of the nominations.
It was a big night for Peele as well, at the ceremonies held at the Beverly Hilton and hosted by Judd Apatow. Peele earned the outstanding first-time feature film award, besting Geremy Jasper (“Patti Cake$”), William Oldroyd (“Lady Macbeth”), Taylor Sheridan (“Wind River”), and Aaron Sorkin (“Molly’s Game”).
Other winners at the DGA ceremony included Reed Morano (“The Handmaid’s Tale”), Beth McCarthy-Miller (“Veep”), and Jean-Marc Vallée (“Big Little Lies”).
At the Oscars, del Toro will contend against Nolan, Peele, Gerwig and Paul Thomas Anderson (“Phantom Thread”).